Drafting the law of the land

Over a third (36%) of Tanzanians on the Mainland have participated in the constitutional review process through community meetings, SMS, interviews, letters and email.  The vast majority of these participated through community meetings organized by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). In addition, almost half of Mainland Tanzanians can explain what a constitution is.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Drafting the law of the land: Reflections of citizens in Mainland Tanzania on the draft constitution. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, a nationally representative mobile phone survey of households across Mainland Tanzania.

The data show relatively high rates of awareness of the constitution and participation in the review process. In addition, almost seven out of ten (67%) of Mainland Tanzanians are aware that the draft constitution was launched, although less than three out of ten (23%) know how to access a copy of the draft.

Almost all (91%) Mainland Tanzanians want to be able to oust their MPs for performance failure, demonstrating a strong preference for greater accountability and making this the most endorsed clause in the draft. Other areas that receive broad public support are:

  • A presidential candidate must be over 40 years old (84% agree)
  • Ministers and Deputies should be appointed by the President and endorsed by Parliament (77% agree)
  • Parliament should be composed of 75 members, with two members from each region in the Mainland and Zanzibar (76% agree)
  • The Speaker and Deputy Speaker should not be a leader of a political party five years before seeking this position (72% agree)
  • Ministers and deputies should not be councilors, MPs or members of the house of representatives (70% agree)
  • MPs should not be in office for more than 15 years (70% agree)
  • Independent presidential and parliamentary candidates should be able to stand in General Elections (67% agree)
  • There should be an independent electoral commission, appointed by the President (65% agree)

Sauti za Wananchi also asked Mainland Tanzanians about their support for the draft constitution. Unsurprisingly, given broad agreement, with the major issues, the majority of them would vote for the current draft.

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Authors: Constantine Manda



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